I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chapter 112 ~ Precedent Setting Case in Ontario

The following article which was in the Canadian Globe & Mail Newspaper on May 15, 2008 is a breakthrough and the Ontario Courts are finally recognizing the insidious abuse of Parental Alienation. I reproduce it in whole here as this kind of information is very helpful when coming from a very large circulation national newspaper like the Globe Any parent (in this case it is the Father who was the alienator) who has been targeted will be interested in reading this. Any alienator, male or female, should also heed the fact courts, particularly one this close to my own jurisdiction, are starting to recognize this sickness perpetrated on innocent children.

Judge rules father brainwashed son into hating mother

From Friday's Globe and Mail
TORONTO — A 13-year-old Ontario boy whose domineering father systematically brainwashed him into hating his mother can be flown against his will to a U.S. facility that deprograms children who suffer from parental alienation, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled. Mr. Justice James Turnbull ordered the boy – identified only as LS – into the custody of his mother. He said that the boy urgently needs professional intervention to reverse the father's attempt to poison his mind toward his mother and, in all probability, to women in general. “There will probably be future significant problems experienced by LS if the court does not intervene – including significant personal guilt for his part in the rejection of his mother, anger towards women, and dysfunctional relationships with women,” Judge Turnbull said. The judge flatly refused to take the boy's opinion on the therapy into account, saying that LS cannot exercise “free discretion in expressing his views” because of the influence his father has had on him. Judge Turnbull observed that the father, 54, has repeatedly breached court orders granting the mother limited access to her son. He said that the boy has come to perceive himself and his father as “intertwined and unable to distinguish one's thoughts from the other.” As part of his campaign of absolute control over LS, the father dictated toxic e-mails for the boy to send to his mother. He also removed photographs of the mother from her son's bedroom. Judge Turnbull also noted that in 2005, the father pursued an assault charge against the mother. As a result, LS, at the age of 10, was required to testify against her in criminal court. “Frankly, the exercise of such parental indiscretion stuns this court,” Judge Turnbull said, adding that the mother was acquitted. Jeffery Wilson, the mother's lawyer, said Thursday that the case is a breakthrough for parents attempting to win back children who have been intentionally alienated from them. "This is a precedent in Canada - the first time a Canadian court has recognized the lack of resources to deal with the disease of parental alienation and answered it with a private remedy - the Family Workshop for Alienated Children," Mr. Wilson said. "The age of a child is no reason to justify a lost opportunity to know and benefit from both of the child's parents," he added. In his ruling, Judge Turnbull praised the work of the FWAC and urged the Ontario government to encourage similar programs. According to evidence at the hearing from Dr. Richard Warshak, a founder of the FWAC, many children are so set against participating in a program that reunites them with a hated parent that they have to be transported by police or probation officers - sometimes in restraints. "In the case at bar, Dr. Warshak has suggested that LS would travel to the United States with transport agents on one flight, and his mother would follow closely on another flight," Judge Turnbull noted in his ruling. Dr. Warshak said that sessions focus on teaching children to assess their domestic situation critically, and to appreciate that both of their parents are essential to their well-being. Sessions, which typically last from three to seven days, lean heavily on video presentations, intensive discussion with psychologists, and opportunities for the child and his or her alienated parent to interact. Upon returning home, children receive after-care from a local psychologist. After several months, the child is usually ready to commence a relationship with the parent who caused the alienation. The parents in the LS case married in 1982 and separated in 2005. LS was placed in the primary custody of his father, a salesman.The father changed phone numbers, ignored e-mails and left the mother - a 49-year-old who works in public relations - with no alternative but to drive to arenas where her son's sports teams were playing in hopes of getting a glimpse of him. The mother launched court action last year in an attempt to win sole custody of the boy. After a nine-day hearing last fall, Judge Turnbull reserved his decision. He said that an e-mail the mother received in late 2006 was indicative of the father's control over the boy. "I don't want to see you and I never will want to see you ever again and who do you think you are to say my dad makes my decisions (sic)," it said. "I MAKE MY DECISIONS. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. If I want to see your side of the family, I will call them." A child psychiatrist who assessed the father, Dr. George Award, said in a report that he was a mistrustful, autocratic woman-hater who "built a demonic image" of his ex-wife and turned his son into his entire social life.
A week later another article is published in the Globe & Mail on Parental Alienation. I reproduce it in whole here as this kind of information is very helpful when coming from a very large circulation national newspaper.
PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME: BRAINWASH TACTICS

Turning child against parent 'very common' in nasty separations

The last time Jane Smith spoke to her eldest son, he told her he wished she was dead. She hasn't had a conversation with her youngest son in seven years. When her boys graduated from high school in southern Ontario, Ms. Smith watched them get their diplomas from a hiding spot at the back of the room because she wasn't invited to attend. It's a stark contrast to a relationship that was once loving and caring. Once Ms. Smith moved out of the family home, her husband used an arsenal of emotionally abusive and manipulative tactics to turn their teenaged sons away from her. It's called "parental alienation syndrome" and the situation is hardly unique. Last week, an Ontario judge ruled a 13-year-old boy could be flown against his will to participate in a United States-based program to repair his relationship with his mother. The judge said the boy's father tried to brainwash him against his mother and that unless he received intervention, the situation could have serious consequences on the boy's life and his future relationships with women. Experts say thousands of Canadian parents going through a separation, divorce or other difficult conflict convince their children - sometimes even unconsciously - to reject the other parent. "It's very common in high-conflict parent relations," said Robert Samery, vice-president of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization, which is based in Oakville, Ont. and has international membership. "It can be extremely devastating." The Ontario case brings to light the serious problems that can erupt when one parent manipulates a child's view of the other parent. Tactics range, but can include constantly insulting the other parent in front of the child, denying custodial visits, fabricating stories of abuse to the police to cut the parent off from the child and make him or her appear dangerous, and encouraging the child to stop talking to the other parent. That kind of behaviour has a major impact on how a child views the other parent and may cause him to reject that parent, according to Richard Warshak, a clinical psychologist and expert on parental alienation. "Often times these are very, very nice children who are well behaved in other respects," he said. "But somehow they don't show the normal amount of regret for rejecting a parent so maliciously. These children can be quite obnoxious in the way they treat a parent but they feel entitled to do that because they feel they have the permission of the other parent to do it." Dr. Warshak, who developed the one-of-a-kind U.S. program where the Ontario teen is being sent, said many cases of parental alienation remain unresolved and can persist for years, partly because the problem is still not well recognized or understood and also because of the lack of resources available to help parents in this situation. "Our offices are just swamped and we really can't handle the volume of inquiries," he said. "I get e-mails every day from desperate parents who are trying to reconnect with their children." Children in these situations may renounce their relationship with their parent, call them names, refuse to talk to them or become angry at them for trivial reasons, such as making them go to bed on time. Dr. Warshak's program, the Family Workshop for Alienated Children, lasts about four days and focuses on reconnecting parents and children through a series of educational workshops. It offers the child a "face-saving" way to get out of the middle of the parental conflict without having to choose one parent over another, Dr. Warshak said. Counsellors are also on hand to help both the parent and the child deal with the issues that arise. In some cases, parents may not even realize they are slowly poisoning their children's perceptions. "They're so caught up in their own disappointments in the marriage and their own frustration and their own anger that they fail to recognize that the children need more protection from those feelings," said Dr. Warshak, whose book Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex, has helped shed public light on this problem. Ten years after Ms. Smith's divorce, her sons - who are now adults - still won't speak to her or answer any of her letters. Over the years, Ms. Smith had to learn about illnesses or milestones in their lives through other sources. When she called the house to talk to her sons, someone would hang up the phone. Letters were torn up before they were read. At her son's elementary school, she couldn't get past the principal's office. Whenever her son made a sporting achievement, she had to read about it in the newspaper. "It's like I don't exist," she said. While Ms. Smith holds out hope her boys will want to reconcile one day, she does her best to get on with her life. "I pray for my children every single day, that they find some peace and some happiness. That's all that I want for them," she said. "I easily could have fallen down on the ground. I refuse to be defeated by this."
My letter to the editor of the Globe May 21, 2008 which I sent following the articles they printed in their paper.
Parental Alienation is an insidious form of child abuse typically performed by a mother in over 90% of cases but certainly not restricted to the female gender. (ed note: two studies in 2009 Colemen then Bala - on PA cases going to court - show a 2-1 ratio with moms being twice as likely to alienate) No matter which parent does it the behaviour is unacceptable child abuse and ought to be a criminal offense. Until a loving parent is made a target of this damaging activity it is hard for others to understand. Like a cult the child becomes totally immersed in the behaviour of the alienator and in severe cases it creates a "folie à deux" where 2 people suffer from similar delusions - both the alienating parent and the child. Deprogramming is in the best interests of the child beyond the shadow of a doubt. I have been alienated from my two youngest daughters in such a manner and unlike a death in the family where grief dissipates over time the target parent continues to grieve every day for the love of their children. I maintain a blog on my situation at http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com and this has helped my relationship to some degree by bringing attention to it. I will continue to blog until such time as the children are back in a loving relationship with me. The irony of my case is I was the stay-at-home parent from their infancy to June 8, 2005 when they were taken from me.
Mike Murphy

11 comments:

cory johnson said...

I am a 43 year old male who has suffered through a most contentious divorce that has left me broke and alone. My ex is fighting a Jihad that just will not stop. I have three beautiful kids ages16,13,10. The oldest two, my girls absolutely hate me and to be honest with you with all the things she has said about me I would not want to speak to me either.
My youngest, my best friend, my son does not know whether he is coming or going. Because he wants a relationship with his father, my ex has convinced him that he is defective and sick and has him medicated on the maximum dosage of Zoloft for an adult. There is no line she will not cross. As much as I love those kids I do not know if it is better to walk away or stand and fight. My fear is if I fight what she will do to those kids.
It is so bad that I have decided to start my own website for men called www.phoenixrising-online. It is geared specifically for men starting over after, divorce,bankruptcy, job loss with a major focus on depression and the stigma associated with getting help.

Mike said...

Cory:

It is mind boggling what some ex's will do and it is simply driven by hatred. Our ex's hatred of us is greater than their love for the children. How flawed can a person get! There are hate crimes against many in this country of mine, Canada but not against alienator's who target fathers (or Mother's who are targeted by weak, narcissistic, non-empathetic men).

It is a hard road we are on but let your love for your children be your guide. It will show you the right direction. We are the creators, in partnership with our ex's, of these precious children and despite what you are going through they need you to stay in their lives. At this juncture they do not completely understand that but in the fullness of time they will.

Check my links for other good sites and resources. You are not alone. Starting a web site is a positive step that will lend focus to your ordeal and keep some of the "mind chatter" we all go through at bay.

The only way to survive is to take one day at a time, stay focussed on the long term needs of your children, and yourself. If your ex holds true to form, as do most classical alienators, she will exact a high price from you both emotionally and financially but the sickness that causes her to abuse the children and you also has weaknesses and these will show over time.

Those of us walking in the same shoes know what you are going through and your personal strength will be tested time and time again. We are strong though and get stronger both emotionally and in numbers by pursuing the goal of allowing our children to have a loving relationship with both parents.

Good luck and link your site with ones like mine.

Mike Murphy

Jenn said...

This is not a situation that has anything to do with gender and everything to do with a mental health issue that shows symptoms in anger and distruction.
I am a mother whose entire family has been targeted as my ex-husband has been backed by women hating groups and people who choose to believe him. The pain of my children has been heartbreaking. The last time I saw my son was two years ago when he told me that "they had a family meeting" and decided that they didn't want me communicating, seeing or having any part of their lifes. It broke me at such a level I didn't know how to go on. It is his birthday today, and I thank God that I found anti-depressants.
I can't imagine why people would do this.

Michael J. Murphy said...

Jenn:

I hear you. PA is a sickness perpetrated by narcissistic people with only hate, poison and revenge in their hearts.

How a parent can use their flesh and blood to poison their children's minds is beyond my ability to comprehend. Progress in the legal system and bringing awareness of this malady is slowly happening.

All the best of the Christmas season and I wish I could give you a hug because I know the heartbreak you are going through especially at this time of year. In my first Christmas without my girls I almost became dehydrated from missing them. The tears would not stop.

leostouros said...

i am leo stouros the kid in the article. this is total bull. i feel sorry for the kid that are being brainwashed and the paernts to that have lost them but i just want to clear this up. because i dont like people talking about me without my oppion.

if you want to contact me leostouros@hotmail.com

leo stouros said...

i am leo stouros the kid in the article. this is total bull. i feel sorry for the kid that are being brainwashed and the paernts to that have lost them but i just want to clear this up. because i dont like people talking about me without my oppion.

if you want to contact me leostouros@hotmail.com

and im with my dad again

Michael J. Murphy said...

Somehow, based on my personal experience I don't believe its bull Leo. Perhaps you need to start your own blog and write your own story. You have drawn more attention to yourself by publishing your name and email for all the world to see.

Perhaps you should write a rebuttal to the courts investigation and decision and publish that. It will need to deal with the issues found by the court not further brainwashing by your father. I will post it here.

The court decision is available on the Canlii website.

Leo Stouros said...

Mr. Murphy
I do believe parent alienation is real and it is happening today but i am talking about how this article is bull.

Michael J. Murphy said...

Leo:

It wouldn't be the first time a reporter got some facts wrong. It happens frequently. I'm assuming you are referring to the Kirk Makin article not the one following.

I'd suggest writing a rebuttal referring to where he got it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael-

Leo's case was a narcissistic mother that was out to destroy her husband financially and break his spirit by using the courts to take his son away from him. Once she had achieved this she told Leo to pack his stuff and leave her home even though she had sole custody obtained in the courts.

She found a weasel for a lawyer, that knew which buttons to push to ensure that Leo's father was constantly angry and full of hatred for the courts, her lawyer, the system, the so called PAS experts and the psychologists. The apparent plan was to ensure that the anger was a constant, thereby ensuring that no rational resolution of the custody of Leo could ever occur.

Fact of the matter was that Leo was closer to his father before the separation than his mother for a variety of reasons. He simply chose sides and when the mother attacked the father thru the courts he began to hate her for what she was doing to his father and by association to them. Did the dad contribute to the feelings his son had? I believe that he did, but it was because Leo saw how his dad reacted to the legal assault by the mother.

The bottom line is that under no circumstances should you ever use your children to inflict pain on your ex spouse. Your children wind up being the losers. You are kidding yourself if you believe that the courts will do the right thing. The reason for this is that the truth is edited, lies abound, the lawyers are not equal in ability and judges are not always the best people to decide what is best for the child.

Leo said...

The Superior Court of Canada can no longer silence me to the injustice that has played out since February of 2005. Presently an 18 year old attending Colgate University entering my sophomore year this fall on a Lacrosse Scholarship. The Courts would have you believe that my precedent setting case was a success and the system worked. Nothing could be further from the truth. A parent with an ulterior motive, a personal agenda hell bent on destroying any one and anything that got in her way. Using and abusing the courts to her advantage, rein during me useless to stop the destruction of the system for a fair and unbiased trial. On the eve of Father's Day, I write this as a young educated adult who finally has a voice and looks forward to having my day in court. My gift to my Dad is to clear his name and hope he can look to my success as a reason to never stop fighting for the truth regardless of the consequences. I welcome hearing from all who have been effected by my case. In my report to Superior Court, I will go into detail as to what effect and costs this as had on my father who's only agenda was to tell the truth while trying to protect his only child within a system that is seriously flawed. Leo Stouros lstouros@colgate.edu